8 THINGS LEARNED FROM THE 2016 HUSQVARNA INTRO
After a whole day of testing the brand new 2016 Husqvarna enduros in Devon, these are the eight most important things we learned from the official Husqvarna UK press intro…
Responding to feedback from customers and dealers, Husqvarna’s R&D guys have come up with a revised set up for 2016 4CS forks. Without being massively different the initial feeling from the forks has improved. The new setting makes them slightly stiffer, especially after the midpoint of their travel. It’s an upgrade that’ll please the faster guys, as the forks also give increased bottoming resistance. The 4CS forks remain the easiest to adjust, using easy access clickers situated on the top of each leg.
2. Differences to KTM…
Here it is, the differences between a Husqvarna and a KTM…
– 4CS forks
– No kickstarter
– 1.5lt bigger fuel tanks in two strokes
– 0.5lt bigger fuel tanks in four strokes
– Standard cooling fan in four strokes
– Standard map switch on the handlebar
– Polyamide subframe for extra flex
– Michelin Enduro Competition tires
– DID wheels
– New, bigger handguards
Interestingly, a 300 EXC weights 2.3kg less than a TE 300 without fuel – and would cost £200.00 less in the UK market.
Look closer and you’ll find a standard map switch in every bike of the 2016 enduro range
3. ECU Map Switch as standard…
An ECU Map Switch is nothing new, but it used to come as an extra. In 2016 all Husqvarna’s enduro bikes will feature one as standard. It’s easy to change between the two pre-selected maps, seemingly making a greater difference on the four-stroke range. It’s especially noticeable on the smaller FE 250. Making it like riding two different bikes, the soft setting is seriously mellow and the ‘powerful one’ certainly gets the most out of the 250cc engine.
4. Better protection…
Lots of rider comments in the past focused on the fact the standard dual-compound handguards would break easily. Husqvarna has upgraded their handguards on all 2016 models. The new guards, which certainly have a unique look about them – are made from a more flexible material. They’re also bigger than before and provide added protection. From around ten bikes we had zero losses during our one-day press intro…
Like them or not the new handguards offer extra protection that’s more than welcome
5. A complete range of winners…
From the little TE 125 two-smoker to the big FE 501 thumper Husqvarna offers a full range of bikes that are more complete than ever. Each bike can be a winner in its own class. We loved the TE 300’s versatility and the super-progressive feeling you got from its DDS clutch. We were surprised by the FE 501’s controllable power delivery. But if asked to pick a personal favourite, it’d be the FE 250 – a bike that can bring fun to any ride.
6. Practical vs. aesthetic
Without it being massively different that before we like the look and the clean lines of the new Husqvarna enduros. Apart from the side panels now the fork protectors also feature in-mould graphics. Aesthetically it might be great but practically it’s a bit hard to fit any sponsor stickers there, at least without making them look weird with all that yellow and blue colours. Taking off the protectors can now be done in a few seconds. And you don’t have to remove the front wheel.
Removing the fork protectors in now a zero fuss story
7. Numbers speak for themselves…
2014 was the first full year of operation for Husqvarna under their new management. During that year they sold a record 16.337 units, which according to the brand’s Managing Director Mr. Oliver Goehring more than fulfilled their expectations. The first six months of 2015 saw an increase of 28% compared to the same period in 2014. The company meets a steady growth with a future that looks bright. And they’re about to enter the street segment for the first time during their new era with the 701 Supermoto.
8. Should we expect surprises in 2017?
For some it might be a little early to be discussing 2017 models. But with Husqvarna offering a glimpse of their radically new 2016 motocross bikes we for one are interested to learn more about the next generation Husky enduros models. Unfortunately lips were sealed during the press intro, with Husqvarna’s Managing Director Oliver Goehring simply mentioning that ‘there might be some big surprises in the near future’.
For a detailed overview of the 2016 Husqvarna updates, click here.